MDC-T Bulawayo provincial leaders yesterday said they would not lose sleep over the 600 party activists who attended embattled deputy president Thokozani Khupe’s rally on Sunday, describing the gathering as a rented crowd.
BY SILAS NKALA
Khupe, who has refused to recognise the recent appointment of Nelson Chamisa as substantive party leader, on Sunday held her own rally at the Ampitheatre Hall in Bulawayo to counter an MDC Alliance rally held in Gweru on the same date.
Provincial spokesperson Felix Magalela Sibanda said the MDC-T Bulawayo province had been vindicated that Khupe had a rented crowd composed of apostolic sects, civic society organisations, and dubious or bogus political parties.
“These bogus political parties had tribal solidarity which is counteroffensive, counterproductive and retrogressive to say the least. Instead of uniting with other likeminded political parties, Khupe has chosen to work with reactionaries. The irony is that Khupe is anti-MDC Alliance, but chose to work with dubious and tribal groupings,” he said.
“We, as MDC-T, are calling on our members to be steadfast and be peaceful and continue with registration as voters and adhere to the party constitution and all party resolutions.”
Sibanda said the MDC-T was ready to work with all progressive institutions and stakeholders, but would not embrace Khupe’s Zanu PF philosophy of divide and rule.
In her address, Khupe said she was on a mission to fulfil the late party leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s unfinished business of economically liberating the country.
“As we speak, Zimbabweans are currently going through untold suffering with more than 80% of the population living in abject poverty, misery and destitution. The majority of the people are living on less than $1 per day in a country which is endowed with enormous mineral resources and yet there is nothing to show that we are a rich country,” Khupe said.
“As an MDC government, we have a plan. A plan that will ensure that every Zimbabwean has a better life. A plan which has six key areas: First and foremost we want to change the governance culture. The Constitution must be respected and implemented to the letter and spirit in which it was written. We want to uproot the cancer which is corruption that has destroyed the social fabric of society.”
She also said they would work on institutional reforms to ensure that the security sector and government departments stick to their mandate in accordance with the Constitution.
“Devolution, as clearly provided for in the supreme law of the land, must be immediately implemented… We also call for the genuine respect of all our traditional leadership institutions such as chiefs, headmen and kraal heads,” she said.
“We strongly condemn what happened on March 3, 2018 where the government stopped the installation of his royal highness Bulelani Lobengula Khumalo. Thirdly, infrastructure development needs to be prioritised.”
Turning to the internal party squabbles, where she is fighting with Chamisa over party leadership, Khupe said the unfolding events were against the values and principles of the party.
She accused party leaders of discriminating against women who constitute 54% of the voting population.
“We will not be silenced by violence or threats of violence. Personally, I will not stop fighting for the emancipation of women,” she said.
Khupe’s rally was attended by activists from Mthwakazi Republic Party and People’s Rainbow Coalition members, among other opposition and civic groups in Bulawayo.